A new year always brings changes and innovations in any field, but the world of marketing has seen so many rapid changes over the past several years that keeping up with the latest trends can definitely be a challenge. We have seen advances made in technology, data segmentation, information gathering, and so many other areas which keep the world of marketing moving at a lightning pace, while simultaneously creating the potential for more streamlined and effective marketing strategies.
So what will the year of 2015 bring us in the B2B Marketing world? Here are the top 5 trends you need to know:
1. Trust Never Goes Out of Style
Even large companies can lose trust in the blink of an eye. And with the internet and so many other tools that allow your prospects to learn your faults in just a few seconds, it is extremely important to focus on building trust and transparency in any marketing efforts.
This means less focus for company’s on “me, me, me” and more focus on building and sustaining a relationship based on value and trust. While self promotion has a time and a place, B2B relationships are shifting their focus towards building trust by providing value and presenting themselves as a subject matter expert. Examples of this might include blogging on your company website about common issues in your industry and how to solve them or sending non-promotional emails directly to a specific prospect with information you found that fits their unique needs.
2. Personalized Experiences Take Over
As marketing hones in on building quality relationships, based upon trust, effective marketing must get more personalized than ever. There is no longer the need to shoot blindly into a dark pit of prospects, hoping that your email or your ad will have an effect. Instead, qualified prospects can be targeted with unique emails, ad messages, and suggested related items (blog posts, downloads, or services/products) on your website that actually speak to their specific needs based on viewing history and other patterns.
And just wait, 2015 will be the year of the creepiest, most targeted marketing yet.
3. Automation Leads the Way
Personalization requires a wide range of marketing material and messages, based on the various services offered. Marketing automation is a must have in this personalized world, as it allows B2B marketers to target the right content and offers to the right person all at the right time. This means if a prospect is looking at a certain type of blog posts, then they will start seeing suggestions of other similar posts in that same category as well as offers that relate. Soon, this trend will become standard practice among businesses of all types.
4. Personal Actually Means In-Person
Okay, this one could be considered old news, but sometimes the old ways are the best ways. Four years in a row in-person marketing events have been rated as the most effective tactic B2B marketers have by the Content Marketing Institute. This is closely followed by case studies, videos, and webinars. This means that instead of merely barraging your leads with emails, phone calls, and social media messages, it might be time to personally invite them to an event, shake their hand, and become a human face.
5. Content Marketing Will Get a Makeover
Content marketing may seem so last year (seriously, who wasn’t talking about how 2014 was the year content would be king?), but it’s getting a makeover in 2015. Content marketing has felt unwieldy and experimental to many marketers, but content marketing documentation and measuring ROI are going to be, and already are, top priorities for B2B marketers this year.
These trends will be key to an effective B2B marketing strategy that will help your business keep up with the competition in 2015. Don’t fall behind, make 2015 your best year yet!